By DELLA HETHCOX
February can seem like the hardest month of the year as midterms approach and winter persists. Need a break from reality? Netflix will add more than 40 films and eight recent TV seasons by the end of the month, including season three of the hit political drama “House of Cards.”
Whether you need a film for a Valentine’s Day party (or a date) or just a show to numb the pain after hours of midterm studying, the new selection of films and shows for this month will have something for every occasion.
Bittersweet romantic comedies have come into their own genre recently. If you enjoy a more realistic love story, try “Save the Date,” a 2012 film starring Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie. This is a great choice if you’ve enjoyed similar films like “500 Days of Summer” or “Drinking Buddies.”
Want a more typical love story? “Elsa and Fred” is a later-in-life love story set in New Orleans and starring Shirley Maclaine and Christopher Plummer. Although it was released in 2014, it’s a remake of a 2005 Argentine film of the same name.
For a film with more romantic intrigue, try the period drama “In Secret,” starring Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Felton. Olsen portrays a young woman trapped in an arranged marriage, while Felton is the intriguing family friend.
If comedy is your genre, try “Russell Brand: Messiah Complex.” Brand dishes out his scathing opinions on nearly every topic imaginable. For something more tame, watch “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” starring the voice of Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), or “The Little Rascals Save the Day,” the second film in the “Our Gang” series by Universal Pictures.
How about “Hot Pursuit?” This movie is a 1987 film full of comedic hijinks and stars a young John Cusack pursuing his girlfriend across the Caribbean after missing their flight all because of a failed algebra exam.
If you like thrillers, view “Catch Hell,” starring Ryan Phillippe as a washed up actor who is kidnapped on his way to a shoot. Another option is “Blood Ties,” a 2013 film with Clive Owen and Billy Crudup as two brothers caught on opposing sides of the law in Brooklyn during the 1970s, with Marion Cotillard and Mila Kunis as the girlfriends.
For your mystery fix, try “White Bird in a Snowstorm,” a 2014 film based on the novel of the same name, starring Shailene Woodley. Woodley portrays a girl dealing with the mysterious disappearance of her mother and the subsequent emotional issues.
Explore the complicated relationship between an unknowing actress (Sasha Grey) and her fan (Elijah Wood) in “Open Windows,” a 2014 film about Internet crime.
Dreaming of an island vacation? The first four seasons of “Hawaii Five-0” await you. Action packed and full of gorgeous Hawaiian scenery, this show is the perfect study break companion.
Kevin Spacey fans can catch the third season of “House of Cards” on Feb. 27 and follow along as the politician and his wife exact his revenge on enemies.
Although college feels like you are in a gladiatorial game, it’s nothing compared to the entire series of “Spartacus” that’s now available. This show can give you some perspective on what “fight to the death” really means (Be warned that this show does contain adult content).
For a show with the perfect mixture of comedy, nostalgia and gore, the first five seasons of “M*A*S*H” have been added, in which American doctors navigate a field hospital during the Korean War with American optimism and wartime cynicism.